Shoppers support pork price rise

UK - British consumers are prepared to pay more to support UK farmers and help secure the future of quality British pork supplies, says a survey published today.
calendar icon 11 September 2007
clock icon 4 minute read

An overwhelming 78 per cent of people polled, who buy pig and/or poultry products, said that they would be prepared to pay a few pence extra to cover rising production costs and support British farmers. And more than 40 per cent of those in favour said they would be prepared to pay up to 10 per cent more for British pork and bacon to support UK producers.

The survey, carried out by YouGov on behalf of the British Pig Executive (BPEX), showed that an overwhelming 91 per cent of people agree that it is important for Britain to retain a strong agricultural sector - support for farmers is extremely high with only nine per cent of the people polled sure that farmers were being paid a fair price by the big retailers.

Britain's pig farmers have launched a 'industry-saving' campaign to persuade the supermarkets to increase the prices they pay to farmers. It follows a 30 per cent rise in production costs due to worldwide increases in grain and feed prices.

Farmers are currently being paid £1.10 per kg for pigs that cost £1.44 per kg to produce. Many stand to lose approximately £200 million in the next year alone and face going out of business if farm gate prices are not increased in line with these costs.

Chef support
TV chef Antony Worrall Thomson is backing the British pigmeat campaign. He says that consumers are happy to pay more.

"It sounds unbelievable, but it's true. People do care about the food they eat and the people who produce it. They want farmers to be paid a fair price and are prepared to contribute a few pence more to protect the future of British agriculture," he added.

He said the survey results send a strong and pertinent message to the big supermarkets.

"We've got a great farming sector in this country, which produces quality food as well as leading the world on issues like animal welfare. That really is something worth keeping," he added.

And he is urging shoppers to visit and register their support.

Stewart Houston, chairman of both BPEX and the National Pig Association said the industry was asking for only modest price increases on a pack of pork, bacon, ham and sausages.

"The survey shows that many, many consumers will be happy to pay this. And if this is passed on to farmers it will help to safeguard the British Pig Industry.

He said that pig producers need this increase because many are facing ruin.

"Supermarkets pride themselves on listening to consumers and what they are telling them is that farmers should receive more. It's time for retailers to act," he added.

Mr Houston said he was delighted by the recent price increases made by some of the major retailers to their suppliers. He hoped the policy would be applied across all British pork, bacon, ham and sausages products.

To sign the online petition got to:

The campaign was launched by the National Pig Association last week to encourage consumers to register their support.

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